Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Asian Koel - Eudynamys Scolopaceus

It's amazing to watch birds. The previous evening I was patiently looking out for birds that visit our garden or neighbourhood. I saw parakeets return home. A Black Kite is building her nest at one of the trees; saw her collect twigs. I heard the barbet sing but couldn't spot the bird. Yes, I clicked a few photos (zoomed); ensured not the disturb any birds.
And then, I hear the ko-el... ko-el... ko-el. Oh, I clapped my hands in excitement and in the hope that I could get a couple of photos of this bird! Aren't you curious to know the name of the bird? Well, by now you would have guessed the name. Yes, the bird is the Asian Koel; spotted both male and female pairs. I have seen this bird several times. Seen it singing, coaxing the lady, eating berries, and flying restlessly; however, I haven't been able to capture a photo because the bird sits somewhere in the middle of a tree.
Previous evening, I waited patiently, following the trajectory of the koels. They flew from berry tree to Christmas tree to Silver Oak to Eucalyptus tree to sandalwood tree, and then returned to Eucalyptus tree. The koels are resident birds. The Asian Koels feeds mostly on fruits but can also eat small insects. They are tree birds; don't habitat the ground area. Both sexes do not resemble each other. Their calls are also different. The male bird is black with red eyes. The female bird is brown with white spots.
These birds are brood-parasitic because they lay their eggs in a crow's nest. When the crow or the host bird isn't at its nest, the female koel lays an egg in the host bird's nest, and flies away. It's believed that the koel destroys one of the host bird's eggs to accommodate her egg. The host bird, without a clue about the parasite bird's egg, enables the eggs to hatch.
When young, the koel hatchling's call sounds like that of a crow; thereby, not giving scope for doubt about the hatchling's origin. The koel bird may lay about 6-7 eggs; each egg in a different host bird's nest. All said and done about this bird, one cannot deny that it's song is most melodious. No wonder there are several poems decicated or inspired by this bird. The bird is the state bird of Puducherry!
Personally, I enjoy the call of Asian Koels. Waking up to the melody of Asian Koels, and then retiring (with a cup of hot tea) for the day is my luxury. 
Other interesting reads:
Asian Koel Male
Asian Koel - Female

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